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Strange and Stranger.... - Blather. Rants. Repeat.
A Møøse once bit my sister ...
Strange and Stranger....

I got my first-ever call yesterday from a client in Dubai.

Turns out, he's an existing client, referred by a lawyer in New Jersey for me to file some paperwork related to the case here in NYS.  The other parties to the case just filed bankruptcy, in Trenton, and he wanted me to do this and that in response to it.

Here are the concerns with that:

* I don't poach. You refer a client to me to do x, that's what I do, not a through f or whatever it is the referring attorney does. Now here, I don't know if the referring attorney does this additional work, or wants any help with it. I've asked, and am awaiting a response.  But even if the answer is yes,

* New Jersey is a fucking bitch when it comes to out-of-state lawyers poaching on their turf.

Out-of-state lawyers appear in our bankruptcy courts all the time on an individual case basis. You register for an electronic filing account (no fee), file a simple motion and proposed order allowing it for that case, and you're in.  But Joisey, once disparaged by Benjamin Franklin as "a keg tapped at both ends," cannot just throw shade at the fancypants lawyers coming in from those two taps (Philadelphia and New York City). No, they have to say "fuggedabutit" to everyone who is not a true-green member of the Jersey State Bar.  Here's how they do it:

-Require a $150 fee to appear in one case. (In contrast, New York State charges lawyers $375 as their entire registration fee for two years.)

- Also require the lawyer to pay the full calendar-year fee to the New Jersey State Court Client Protection Fund as if you were a resident attorney; that amount, in my case, would be $212 upfront, with that fee recurring on January 1st if my representation were to continue into 2017; and

- Even after all that, your temporary admission gets you no filing privileges- you still need a permanent Bar member to "stand up" for you in receipt and filing of all documents.  So you get to address the court in your own voice. That's about it.

It can get even worse even after you jump through all of these hoops- as I did, for a particularly good client of an old law firm, close to 20 years ago.  Years later, I got a letter from Trenton, offering me AMNESTY! for my years of unpaid annual registration fees to the Client Protection Fund. Nobody told them, or had reason to tell them, that I had only paid their fee for one case for one year and had neither the knowledge nor the form required to terminate my relationship to that great state.  I sent them a letter saying so and never heard back.

Still, I hesitate to do it again. Hell, now I hesitate to take the Toinpike between here and Maryland anymore, lest I get pulled over for speeding (or stuck in a gas station bathroom) and have them haul me off on a warrant for being a Bar Association scofflaw.


Then today's Court. Return with me to those thrilling days of 2015:...

I did things 1 through 6, the way they're usually done.

Other Party didn't do thing 7. I did it for them.

Trustee objected, saying I'd done thing 7 too late.

I asked the judge to let it stand. Trustee objected.  We worked out a Rube Goldberg solution where we would do, in order and on a schedule, Things 8 through 12.  All were done, except the final step of 12. That merely awaited a judge's approval of the unopposed Thing.

Except it wasn't unopposed.  Someone showed up. But meanwhile, back at the ranch, the trustee had figured out that he never should have opposed me doing Thing 7, way back when. And so we put the toothpaste back into the tube, undoing everything we'd done since then, allowing thing 7, and putting us back exactly where we were in, oh, February....

except for the probably $3,000 worth of my time that I put in that I will never see a nickel for.

At least I don't have to send any money to New Jersey, though. That I know of:P

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